For Students

Past Exhibitions: 2001

People and Places: The Baker Gift of 20th Century Photography

December 8, 2001 - February 10, 2002
Works on Paper Gallery


Robert Frank
American Flag in Brick Wall,
1956
gelatin silver print
Gift of the Morris and Beverly Baker Foundation, in memory of Morris D. Baker, a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Architecture, 1952

In 2000, the University of Michigan Museum of Art received a collection of photographs from The Morris and Beverly Baker Foundation in memory of Morris D. Baker, a graduate of the School of Architecture. Both graduates of the University of Michigan, Morris (Class of 1952) and Beverly Baker (School of Music, Class of 1955) began to collect art shortly after their marriage. Collecting both painting and photography, they amassed large collection of important works, a portion of which was donated to the Museum.

Included in this gift were seminal works such as three copies of the very important journal Camera Work, published by Alfred Stieglitz, which included original photogravures. Equally important is of one of Robert Frank's images taken during his work on The Americans series. This master of photography was not previously represented in the Museum's collection and this photograph will offer our visitors a fine example of his work in this seminal series of his career. Also noteworthy was the donation of a portfolio by the photographer Arnold Newman, which focused on portraits of important artists.

Landscapes and cityscapes also figured prominently in the gift, and the Museum's collection was enhanced by the addition of works by such key photographers as Aaron Siskind, Bernard Descamps, and Ernst Haas. These images not only investigate the majesty and power of the land but also man's attempts to tame and control it.

It is through important gifts such as this that the Museum's collection can grow in significant ways that its own resources won't allow. The generosity of The Morris and Beverly Baker Foundation allowed the Museum to enhance its collection in a meaningful manner.

Sean M. Ulmer
University Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art